In the fast paced, highly connected world in which we live it seems all too common for people to feel overlooked. This sense of falling between the cracks is even more profound when we are struggling with difficulties that overwhelm us with seemingly no explanation for our suffering. We learn from the opening verses of the ninth chapter of John’s gospel that in Jesus we have a savior who sees our struggles. Furthermore, we learn in this passage that the hardships and struggles in our lives are for a purpose that displays the glory and character of God. In healing a blind beggar in Jerusalem, Jesus shows his power over our circumstances and teaches us to fix our gaze upon the higher purposes of our circumstances.
Do you want to be free indeed? The Jews have just heard Jesus explain who he is and what he has come to do. In this section, we see that the Jews have believed in him; however, this belief was a nominal belief. The Jews did not have genuine saving faith. Jesus teaches the Jews about the truth and obedience in this section, but more importantly he shows them that if they wish to be free from the bondage of sin then they must trust in the Son who can set them free.
Scripture teaches that the fallen world in which we live is a dark place. We are so accustomed to this spiritual darkness that we can become blind to the light of truth. The darkness into which we are born deprives us of the ability to see and understand reality. The apostle John wrote his gospel to show us that God has invaded the darkness in the person of Jesus in order to bring us the light of life. Jesus is the life giving light of heaven. In this passage from the eighth chapter of John’s gospel we see Jesus taking advantage of ceremonies associated with the Jewish Feast of Booths to reveal to all who would listen that through him they could come out of the darkness of death and have life eternal in the light of God’s glory.
Questions of adultery, hypocrisy, and conspiracy all meet the Lord Jesus Christ outside temple walls. In John 8 the Pharisees are trying to trap Jesus by bringing a woman who has been caught in the act of adultery before Him. The Pharisees give him two options: either he can stone the woman or let her go free. Jesus, in all of wisdom, brings the weight of the Law to reign down on the Pharisees. Then we see a beautiful glimpse of His mercy towards the adulterous woman.
Our modern culture prides itself on knowledge and understanding. We believe we can overcome any obstacle, solve any problem by the right use of our mental faculties and the rigorous application of human knowledge. It’s all too easy to lapse into thinking that the same is true for spiritual matters as well. Many believe we can ascend God’s holy hill by way of right reasoning and right choices. An examination of the people in Jerusalem who attended the Feast of Booths in John 7 demonstrates that this is not the case. The natural man cannot comprehend spiritual reality and as such is completely dependent upon God’s grace to enable an understanding of the gospel.
Jesus promises refreshment to the thirsty that will come to Him and drink. Even more than that, Jesus promises rivers of living water from the hearts of believers. This He said about the Holy Spirit, who is examined in detail in this sermon.
It can be very difficult when we are confronted with either difficult truth, or difficult circumstances. It is certainly difficult to reconcile the two when are faced with both at the same point in life. Perhaps you are in a place of honest struggle to reconcile what you see with your eyes and what you know to be true. As we look this passage, we find that by looking to Jesus in faith, we can find relief from our struggle, and the joy of the presence of God.
Jesus has now come into Jerusalem, teaching boldly in the Temple. Never shrinking back from proclaiming the truth, He uses Moses to show how the Jews were not keeping the Law, and the Sabbath as an example to demonstrate how they see only the material and are blind to the spiritual. As a result, we will see three distinct responses; the response of faith by many of the people, the response of unbelief by the Pharisees, and the anxious inquiry of the Jews.
Believers are engaged in the ongoing process of sanctification, progressively becoming more and more like Christ. As we study the nature of Christ in Scripture we see traits that should increasingly characterize our lives. In this brief interlude, John shows us four characteristics of a faithful servant. Seeing how these traits are modeled by Jesus during a difficult season of ministry should serve to help in continue to grow in grace and Christ likeness.
Have you ever thought about abandoning your faith and leaving Christianity? Life brings many challenges to the heart of the believer but none match the words of Christ. When we read what Jesus requires of us in Scripture our hearts should despair for we do not have the means to meet the demand. But there is good news, all that God requires Jesus has satisfied. The words of Jesus are hard, but the word of Jesus are life. In this sermon we see how the apostles come to realize that Jesus was the only source of life as He is the Holy One of God. Their hope, as does ours, rests completely in Him.
John tells us that he writes this gospel so that we might, by faith, come to have the eternal life that is found only in Jesus. In this section, we have been shown that the sustenance of the spiritual life is something other than the sustenance of the physical life. Jesus appeals to the scriptures of the Old Testament, pointing to a new and better covenant. He pictures the contrast by returning to the idea of bread; the bread of Moses was perishing bread, for perishing people, but the Bread of Christ brings eternal life. Eating is believing, and Jesus’s flesh is the bread of eternal life. Upon this idea the Jews not only go from questioning to grumbling, but from grumbling to disputing among themselves; a first indication that their obstacle was not understanding, but believing. Therefore, in this passage, we will find the Disputing Jews, the Flesh of Life, and the Partaking of Flesh.